Saturday, July 5, 2008

Got Ants?

Ants love breast milk.

This is something they don't tell you in the books. Lactation consultants will not prepare you for the moment you pick up a discarded spit-up rag to find the underside teaming with the little buggers. You will freak out. If you have not slept for 6 months, you might just have a complete mental breakdown. On the floor. With tears and snot and trembling and Lo! the unholy usage of the Lord's name.

I'm just saying.

Anyway - I've had two years to recover from THAT scenario. However, just when you thought it was safe to go into the water . . . Ants II - The Second Coming.

I was zoning out while pumping at work when I looked down and saw something bobbing in the breast milk. Not a good sign. So, I kept pumping and watched in horror as this black thing rose higher and higher in the bottle. Finally, I sort of tilted the bottle mid-pump and got a good, full, side-view on the thing. A creepy crawly carpenter ant. FREAKY.

The best part is that I got back to my office and had to tell someone. I mean, wouldn't you? Who could keep that bottled up inside them? So, I told this woman at work who is probably 10 years younger than I am and sort of innocent and naive but in a fun way. Like Betty White in the Golden Girls. And I'm totally grossing her out and she's making these completely horrified faces. Then, before I can start questioning how the ant got in there . . . was it in my bag all along? Was it hiding out in the bottle waiting? Or was it lurking in the Mothers' Room, waiting for some unsuspecting sleep-deprived victim? Before I can get to any of that, she blurts out, "How did the ant come out of your boob? And how could you not have FELT it when it did?!?"

Friday, July 4, 2008

Get Out!

Let's face it, this house has been trying to get rid of us since the day we moved in. I know that might seem like a silly statement - something straight out of "Poltergeist" - but, for the love of God, it's true.

We've had the normal menagerie of pests - ants, stinkbugs, mice, ladybugs, and spiders. And while they freaked me out at first, I came to accept them as minor inconveniences with simple solutions. But, we've also had snakes . . . in the kitchen and in the computer room. And every year we've endured multiple termite swarms in various rooms throughout the house . . . hundreds of the buggers creeping and crawling and swooping over everything. Our landlords claimed that we were simply too citified and that termite swarms were what country livin' was all about. I'm not so sure they will feel the same way when their house collapses into a heap of sawdust and creepy crawlies, but whatever. Then there was that summer when I was pregnant and had to fight off dozens of wasps in the living room every day for weeks on end. We never did figure out where they were coming from. Most recently, we've had bats. Not inside - I'd be living in a Motel 6 right now if that was the case - but, they seem to have taken up residence between the stone chimney and the side of our house (there is a large gap between said chimney and the house . . . which is just lovely). At twilight, they shoot out of the gap by the dozen and go off looking for whatever bats look for . . . bugs, sex, virgin necks to suck.

So, we're used to these strange and unwanted house guests, as disturbing as they all are. We've also developed the ability to live with the many quirks this house possesses. For instance, the heat is always on. Always. It can be 95 degrees out and that hot air is still pumping out our baseboards. We pay a small fortune to the oil company. There is not one window in the kitchen that can be opened. We have huge windows in the kitchen too - they mock us. About every third day we have to replace a lightbulb somewhere. They just blow out. All the time. I should own stock in Sylvania. The bathroom always smells like mold. It is my theory that our landlords had Bathfitters or some such "quick and cheap" bathroom remodeling company come in and cover up all the mold and rot with one of those one-piece enclosure jobbies. I shudder to think about what most likely lurks beneath all that ivory acrylic. Also, there is no sub-floor underneath our floorboards. And gaps have developed between many of the wooden planks. You can feel a cool breeze coming up from the floor in Logan's room. Also, this is probably where most of our insect/pest problems come from. They just crawl right in. Who could blame them?

So, we deal. We suck it up and put on our brave faces and deal with all this crap. Why? Well, because it's a house and we can afford the rent. For the price we pay now we would not be able to rent another house. And finding an apartment big enough for all of us is an exercise in futility unless you want to pay about double what we pay now. So, we've been sort of stuck. But now we are going to buy a mickey fickey HOUSE and get ourselves out of this hellhole. *Cue the theme song from The Jefferson's now.* The only problem is that now this house is mad. And it's seeking revenge like some jilted ex-girlfriend.

How does it do it? Well . . . I think it's in cahoots with Logan for one thing. In the past few months he has ripped 80% of the painted-over wallpaper off the wall in his room. He has cracked the ceramic cooktop. Broken the dishwasher. Knocked our huge-ass monstrosity of a TV off the TV stand - it landed screen-side down. Of course it did!

All the knobs have broken off our washing machine. The lint filter broke on the dryer. A few days ago, the house had itself an electrical aneurysm. Something happened and suddenly an entire section of our house lost electricity. It just so happened that our refrigerator was included in the outage. And our washing machine. And my computer. FUN. The electrician used the term "nightmare house" and actually called someone over to go up into the attic with him where they pointed and laughed in disbelief at whatever horrors they found up there. I don't even want to know.

The house - it wants us gone. And the feeling is mutual. Please, Baby Jesus, let us get this house we're making an offer on tomorrow.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Pumping Iron

There is a man at work who sees me at least once a day (sometimes twice) making the long trek from my office to the Mothers' Room to pump. He is a friendly, lazy-eyed mailroom employee who is in the habit of making small-talk with everyone he passes in the hall. It is sometimes difficult to ascertain who he is addressing since his two eyes are never focusing in the same direction. I never know which one to look at when I respond to him and so I usually stare at the middle of his forehead while commenting on something banal like the weather, the impending long weekend, or the fact that it is buffalo chicken day in the cafeteria. This is a strategy that has served me well - I have even shared it with my co-workers and, though skeptical at first, they too have adopted my method with great success.

One day, however, one of his eyes caught sight of my gigantic black breast pump backpack. It's large, unwieldy, microfiber monstrosity and can hold my double flanged pump, its various accessories, and a small cooler full of 4 oz. glass baby bottles. It's pretty much the equivalent of having a flashing neon billboard with the word "LACTATING," strapped to my back. Only, this guy clearly did not see it that way at all. "Going to the gym?" he asked, one eye looking right at me and the other veering off towards the sari-enrobed Indian woman walking a few feet in front of him. I was caught off guard and by the time I realized he actually was talking to me all I could blurt out was a hesitant, " . . . yeah . . . "

Honestly, what could I say? Even if I had time to explain, and passing someone in the hall is no place for lengthy conversations, I wouldn't want to delve into the topic of breastfeeding with this man I hardly knew. I'd prefer him not to ever think of my breasts. As far as I was concerned it would be best if he didn't even know I had them. Don't ask, don't tell. Nothing to see here. Carry on. So, I let him think he was correct - I was sneaking off to the gym to jazzercise my postpartum baby weight away. Whatever. A little white lie never hurt anyone.

It's been about 6 months now, though. And after seeing me every day (sometimes twice a day) "going to the gym" I often wonder what he's thinking. I have surmised that he must think I'm a little OCD about getting in shape. And also, he must feel quite sorry for me because clearly I am doing something horribly wrong if I am working out twice a day everyday and I still have a stomach that looks like this:

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Shoot Me Now

Sorry for disappearing for a couple of months - here are two videos to make up for it.

In the spirit of full disclosure I must confess that Molly is the only one who is pulling herself up to stand. Emma had a little help in the second video. But still. SCARY. I can't keep up with one mobile child, never mind THREE.

Send gin.


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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sardines

Happy Easter!!!


Logan spent the past week on a much needed vacation to Grammy and Grampy's house. It was fabulous for all of us. Logan got some one-on-one attention that he has been sorely lacking since the girls' arrival. The girls were able to roll around on the floor without fear of being kicked in the head or body slammed. Steven and I actually slept in a few mornings and found ourselves doing crazy impulsive things like leaving the bathroom door open and *gasp* throwing our keys onto the kitchen table with no fear of a certain curious 2 year old getting into everything. Hell, even Gus was enjoying himself since he spent the week out amongst us instead of hiding in our closet until Logan's bedtime.

The theme for the week around Chez Maynard was relaxation. We moved the girls out of our bedroom and into Logan's bedroom for the week. And it was bliss. Steven converted Logan's toddler bed back into a crib and for the first time ever Molly and Emma actually had enough room to sleep and roll over without being on top of each other. You see, and this may be sort of shameful, they are still using a portacrib. There just isn't a lot of room in our bedroom and up until now the portacrib has been fine. Things are starting to get a little cramped now though. And after seeing how well they slept all week in a "real" crib, we can hardly wait to move them into one permanently. We were going to bring the crib my parents have at their house back up with us today but, sadly, it would not fit in our minivan - 3 kids in car seats plus all their crap does not leave room for things like cribs and mattresses. Darn.

I have just spent the past hour trying to get them to settle down in their portacrib and stop rolling and kicking each other. They have been howling for an hour straight. Clearly, they do not approve of this downgrade. Luckily, my parents have offered to drive up with the crib sometime this week. Thank god for my mom and dad!! To the rescue, AGAIN!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Please, Sir . . . Don't Give Me Any More


I don't know why, but for some reason pasty gruel is the first food you have to feed your baby. I guess it's easy to swallow and easy to digest and yadda, yadda, yadda. But, it tastes like crap. I know. I tried some. I suppose a baby has nothing to compare it to and might be fooled into thinking it's something tasty. Not our babies, though.

For the sake of fairness, the photo up top is Molly and this video is Emma.

*That noise you hear in the video is our dryer. Sorry!


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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Awwwwwww

Emma cried for an hour straight. The kind of crying that makes you want to bash your head against the wall. The kind of crying that keeps your already difficult to get to sleep 2 year old from slumbering in the next room. The kind of crying that wakes her momentarily angelic twin sister up and makes her start screeching in unison. And then, just when you think you can't take it anymore and you can feel the brain aneurysm coming on . . . this happens . . .

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Sorry for not posting lately. I find I am busier than I ever imagined possible. I'm going to make a concerted effort to post more often - I hope. I have the best of intentions with a great many things in my life, but I never seem to accomplish much.

Also, sorry the video is so dark - it was supposed to be bedtime!